4th July 2006 – When I woke up this morning and hurried to set the last thing I would have expected was to be standing right in the middle of the dancing scene with Queen Elizabeth, Bess and Sir Walter – as an extra! Indeed for seven or so hours I was a courtly lady from the 16th century. I guess this is the magic of life – you can’t second-guess what’s going to happen next. The make up and costume were so convincing that few people in the crew recognized me… it was rather amusing.
Standing in the centre of the scene today allowed me to watch up close Shekhar’s use of the steadicam to bring the ‘dancing’ scene alive. The steadicam weaved in and out of the action as the actors moved across the room. It was a spectacular scene and I thought steadicam was a great choice to bring out the playful (yet at times precarious) nature of this scene. I also appreciated the use of these wide shots. They allowed the actors to use their whole body to express the characters and revealed the magnificence of the costumes and set.
The La Volta dance I must say was a rather strange looking dance – so too were the hairstyles of the women of the court. I’m glad both have gone out of fashion. I’m also glad electricity was invented. About halfway through one shot I could hear something dripping… then I felt something warm drop onto my shoulder. It was the wax dripping from the candle above me — I couldn’t move an inch as the camera swirled around the room…